The First Coast has no shortage of pizza places. No matter how you slice it— thin and crispy, thick and chewy— good pizza always has an audience. V Pizza, a new Italian-inspired eatery, specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas (the thin and crispy kind). What may set them apart is that they’re professing to do things the old-fashioned way.
Three large wood-fired ovens in the back of the restaurant (emblazoned with mosaics and the words, “amore,”“San Marco,” and “Felice”) bake pies in under four minutes. According to management, the pizzeria aims to bake true Neapolitan pizza, which should be “soft, elastic and easily foldable” and have a characteristic flavor “mixed with sour taste of the tomato as well as an aroma of oregano, garlic, basil and buffalo mozzarella.” So far, it seems to be meeting all of these goals.
Diners can build their own pizza for $13, plus an additional $1.50 per topping (with a maximum of three toppings). Choose from meat, vegetable and cheese options, such as sausage, pineapple, cherry tomatoes and imported buffalo mozzarella. The menu also has a nice selection of specialty pies, including margherita (the standard, topped with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil), insalata (topped with arugula and cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan and olive oil) and rustica (tomatoes, sausage, broccolini, mozzarella). The pizza capricciosa, with mozzarella, tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives, prosciutto di parma, egg and artichoke hearts, is a nice departure from the typical slice of pepperoni. The pizza piccante, on the other hand (which is topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage and hot peppers) is only for the brave. In fact, it was so spicy (thanks to the large chunks of habanero peppers on top), that I had to take a breather for about twenty min- utes after one bite. Normally, I love spicy foods, but these peppers should probably be cut into smaller pieces (or at least identified as habaneros) before going onto a pizza.
There are a few options aside from pizza— including chicken wings, which are roasted in the aforementioned 1,000-degree ovens with lemon, rosemary, salt and pepper (they are pretty darn delicious, too). There are also calzones, if you prefer your toppings stuffed and baked in a pizza crust, and salads—like the burrata, with burrata cheese, arugula, cherry tomato, roasted peppers and balsamic vinaigrette.
And then there are the desserts. V offers all of the expected favorites, including tiramisu, limoncello with ricotta and a dessert pizza topped with Nutella and fruit. It’s hard to go wrong with desserts at an Italian restaurant.
My advice? Leave the habaneros, take the cannoli.
1406 Hendricks Ave., San Marco • 527-1511; vpizza.com
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 AM-10 PM; Friday- Saturday, 11 AM-2 AM; Sunday, 11 AM-9 PM
Stay Healthy: If you’re worried about dietary restrictions, V offers gluten-free and vegan options, for a $3 upcharge.
Late-night munchies: V is open late on weekends (til 2 AM, in fact) and serves all of its specialty pies until close.
Drink Up: V Pizza is located adjacent to Sidecar, a bar specializing in craft cocktails. Though V itself only serves beer and wine, diners are welcome to grab a drink at Sidecar and carry it in (there’s an entrance to the bar inside the restaurant).
Parking: Parking is located behind the restaurant (the entrance is also in the back) but, as empty spaces can be hard to come by on a busy night, you might be best suited by parking on Hendricks Avenue.